Consultant Paediatricians can refer children aged 13 years and under with suspected Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) for assessment, diagnosis and treatment by allied health professionals, including Speech Pathologists under the MBS Item 135.

About MBS Item 135

This is an early intervention service for children with suspected or diagnosed ASD/PDD that require further assessment and/or treatment by the following eligible* allied health professionals:

  • Speech Pathologists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Audiologists
  • Optometrists
  • Orthoptists
  • Physiotherapists
*Eligibility requirements for Speech Pathologists to provide services under Item 135 are that they are certified practicing members of Speech Pathology Australia. All of our speech pathologists at HDST meet these requirements in addition to being registered as medicare service providers.

Who is Eligible?

A Consultant Paediatrician can develop a management plan for:

  • Children aged up to 12 years and 11 months with a valid Medicare card
  • Children with suspected/diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) OR Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)

What’s the Referral Process?

A referral under Item 135 is made by the child’s Consultant Paediatrician in the form of letter or note that is addressed to the allied health professional (e.g. the name of your child’s speech pathologist), and is signed and dated. A psychiatrist can also make a referral under Item 289 – click here for more information. Only one Item 135 management plan can be made in the child’s lifetime and a separate referral is made for each allied health professional involved in the child’s management plan.

The Consultant Paediatrician is responsible for managing the plan and reviewing the child’s attendance and progress as they receive services. It is the responsibility of the child’s allied health professional/s to communicate with the consultant paediatrician during the duration of the plan. Under the MBS Item 135 referral, a child can access a medicare rebate for the following services in their lifetime:

  • up to four diagnostic / assessment services before the child turns 13. Information obtained from these services can assist the paediatrician in making a formal diagnosis and/or contribute to a child’s treatment and management plan.
  • up to twenty treatment services before the child turns 15 years of age (given the management plan was put in place before the child turned 13)

How much is the rebate?

You will need to contact Medicare directly to determine the rebate amount. We do not bulk bill (i.e. only charge the Medicare rebate) for services at Hills District Speech Therapy. Our therapy and assessment fees are more than the rebate amount and need to be paid in full prior to making a claim. You will be left with an out of pocket expense from each assessment/treatment session, however these expenses will count towards your Medicare safety net.

How can I make a claim?

Upon having provided your therapist with a copy of the referral and paying the full session fee, you will be emailed a receipt with important information required by Medicare to make a successful claim. You can then provide Medicare with this receipt using the app or visiting your closest Medicare branch. The rebate will be deposited into your nominated bank account. If you lose track of how many services you have claimed under the plan, please contact Medicare on 132 011.